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Group Title: Department of Animal Science mimeograph series - University of Florida Department of Animal Science ; no. 61-8
Title: Nutritive value of coastal bermudagrass hay for beef cattle
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Full Citation
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00072907/00001
 Material Information
Title: Nutritive value of coastal bermudagrass hay for beef cattle
Series Title: Department of Animal Science mimeograph series
Physical Description: 7 leaves : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Hentges, J. F ( James Franklin ), 1925-
Alexander, Robert Allen, 1932-
Lundy, H. W
University of Florida -- Agricultural Experiment Station
Publisher: Florida Agricultural Experiment Station
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla
Publication Date: 1961
 Subjects
Subject: Beef cattle -- Feeding and feeds -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Bermuda grass -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (leaf 7).
Statement of Responsibility: J.A. Hentges, Jr., R.A. Alexander and H.W. Lundy.
General Note: Caption title.
General Note: "April, 1961."
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00072907
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 77079543

Table of Contents
    Procedure
        Page 1
    Results and discussion
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
    Summary
        Page 6
    Reference
        Page 7
Full Text





Department of Animal Science
Mimeograph Series No. 61-8
April, 1961


Florida Agricultural
Experiment Station
Gainesville, Florida


Nutritive Value of Coastal Bermudagrass
Hay for Beef Cattle

J. F. Hentges, Jr., R. A. Alexander and H. W. Lundy I/


Coastal bermudagrass is a highly productive hybrid between Tift
bermuda and an introduction from South Africa. According to Burton (1954)
annual hay yields have ranged from one ton/acre with no nitrogen to
over 12 tons/acre with 800 pounds of nitrogen/acre. Protein content
of hay cut at 5 to 6-week intervals has ranged from approximately
7% with no nitrogen to over 16% with 800 pounds of nitrogen/acre.
Data reported by McCormick (1957) indicate that coastal bermudagrass hay
was higher in protein, lower in lignin, and contained more total digestible
nutrients (TON) than did coastal bermudagrass silage.

The objectives of the present studies were to determine the nutrients<
composition, digestibility and feeding value of coastal bermudagrass
hay grown on sandy Florida soils as affected by rate of nitrogen
fertilization, stage of maturity and method of processing.


- L


PROCEDURE


Agronomic data: Coastal bermudagrass was grown at the Suwannee
Valley Station near Live Oak, Florida, on moderately drained Klej fine san
Plots were fertilized with an initial application of 0-10-20 at the rate
of 500 pounds/acre with an additional annual nitrogen application of
50, 100 or 200 pounds/acre. Forage was cut for hay between 5 to 7 weeks
of maturity and nitrogen was applied after each cutting during the entire
growing season. The plots were cut four times during the season.

For fall hay-making, the plots were cut the last week of August and
0-10-20 fertilizer was applied at the rate of 500 pounds/acre plus an
additional application of 50 or 100 pounds of nitrogen/acre as ammonium
nitrate. The grass was cut for hay in mid-October before frost and a
portion was left to be cut in early December after a killing frost. The
latter hay would be similar in quality to reserved winter pasture.

Animal data: During the winters of 1957-58 and 1958-59, non-pregnant
yearling heifers were fed coastal bermudagrass hay plus minerals as the sole
source of feed.

During the winter of 1959-60, lactating cows were fed coastal bermuda-
grass hay plus minerals as the sole source of feed,




I/ Associate Animal Husbandman, Research Assistant and Associate
Agronomist, respectively.


I


d.o-






-2-


Digestibility trials were conducted with heifers, steers and cows
to determine the effect of nitrogen fertilizer rate, stage of maturity,
and form of processing on the digestibility of nutrients In coastal
bermudagrass hay. Chemical analyses were conducted according to the
procedure described by A.O.A.C. (1955).

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Average nutrient composition of all the coastal bermudagrass hays
studied is presented in table I. Average crude protein content was
influenced must by the various rates of nitrogen fertilizer.

Table I. Average nutrient composition of
coastal bermudlagrass hays
S_(Moisture-free basis)
Cutting Nitroen Form Crude Crude Ether Gross
date rate fed protein fiber extract Ash NFE energy
% % % % % therms/Ib.

Summer a/ 100-111 long 8.9 35.0 1.1 3.1 51.9 2.15
Summer 200-11 long 11.2 37.1 1.1 3.1 47.6 2.18
Summer 200-1 I ground 11.2 30.3 1.2 3.7 53.7 2.16
Summer 200- Il pelleted 10.6 29.8 1.7 4.2 54.4 2.17
June 200-1 long 14.6 34.0 1.4 4.3 45.6 2.19
June 200-1I pelleted 16.4 27.6 2.1 5.4 48.4 2.03
Oct. ICO0- long 8.9 36.3 1.1 5.3 48.4 2.08
Oct. 100-1I long 9.7 32.7 1.3 3.8 52.5 2.05
Oct. 50-1 long 6.8 36.0 1.2 5.1 51.0 2.08
Oct. 50-11 long 8.9 30.9 1.5 4.3 54.4 1.98
Dec. 100-1 long 6.7 38.9 1.1 4.1 49.4 2.10
Dec. 100-11 long 8.2 31.5 1.5 3.4 55.3 1.98
Dec. 50-1 long 5.0 38.3 1.5 3.9 51.3 2.08
Dec. 50-11 long 7.0 31.7 1.6 3.9 55.7 1.95


Composited for entire growing season
1957 designated by prefix I; 1958 by


or four cuttings
II; 1959 by III.


Crude protein content ranged from 5.0% in the December cutting
with 50 pounds nitrogen/acre up to 16.4% in the June cutting with 200
pounds nitrogen/acre. The variation in crude fiber, ether extract, ash,
and nilrogen-free extract (NFE) was influenced more by stage of maturity
than by level of nitrogen fertilizer. Gross energy content of the hays
remained relatively constant in all treatments.

The effect of nitrogen fertilization and added minor mineral elements
on yield and nutrient composition of coastal bermudagrass hay are given in
table 2. Crude protein varied directly with rate of nitrogen fertilizer
applied. Yield was also influenced by nitrogen level and cutting time.
Addition of the minor mineral elements appeared to influence yield' but
not nutrient composition of the hay. From these data it is evident:that
yield and protein content of coastal bermudagrass are both greatly in-
fluenced by the amount of nitrogen added to the soil.










Table 2. Effect of Added Minor Mineral Elements on the Yield and Nutrient Composition of Coastal
Bermudagrass Hay Grown at Suwannee Valley Station, Live Oak, Florida, During 1959 Season

(Air-dry or as-fed basis)


Nitrogen Minor Cutting Yield Dry Crude Ash Ca. Phos. Ether Crude NFE Gross
level elements Ib./acre matter protein extract fiber energy
% % % % % % % % Kcal./gm.


9.4
10.5
12.0
12.8

10.2
9.7
15.3
15.2

8.5
8.4
11.1
10.7

8.4
8.6
10.3
10.6


5.1
5.4
4.8
4.5

4.0
3.3
4.9
4.2

3.0
2.6
3.5
2.9

3.0
2.7
3.2
2.5


.36
.29
.30
.33

.31
.45
.42
.41

.27
.24
.37
.31

.29
.28
.38
.33


.18
.18
.20
.23

.22
.22
.33
.29

.19
.17
.19
.20

.17
.16
.19
.15


0.9
1.1
1.0
1.2

i.4
1.4
1.4
1.4

1.1
1.1
1.0
1.1

0.8
0.7
0.6
0.6


32.9
33.3
33.8
32.5

31o4
31.7
32.6
33.1

32.8
32.9
34.9
35.3

32.0
30.7
31.5
31.4


44.6
42.7
41.3
42.1

46.3
47.2
39.1
39.2


4.27
4.19
5.60
5.52

4.34
3.99
4.18
4.35


47.5 4.15
48.2 4.07
42.3 4.32
42.9 4.17

48.9 3.89
50.2 3.98
47.4 3.99
47.8 3.94


100
100
200
200

100
100
200
200

100
100
200
200

100
100
200
200


ME

ME


ME

ME


ME

ME


ME

ME
l---


2319
2875
3775
4451

1266
1478
1672
2240

2290
2744
3298
2925

1573
1834
2116
2067


92.9
93.0
92.9
93.1

93.3
93.3
93.3
93.1

92.9
93.2
92.8
92.9

93.1
92.9
93.0
92.9








-4-


A summary of the average digestion coefficients and TON content of
the coastal bermudagrass hays studied are shown in table 3. Crude protein
digestibility varied directly with crude protein content on a within-year
basis; therefore, with the addition of nitrogen fertilizer to coastal
bermudagrass both the crude protein content and digestibility of the protein
increased. Protein digestibility ranged from 32.2% in the December cut
grass with 50 pounds nitrogen/acre to 70.0% in the June cut grass with 200
pounds nitrogen/acre. Digestibility of dry matter, energy, and the TDN
content of the hays followed similar trends to that of protein digestibility;
however, the former did not show as large a difference as the latter. Grind-
ing and/or pelleting did not affect the digestibility of dry matter or the
TDN content. Protein digestibility decreased slightly in the ground and
pelleted hay. The greatest effect of grinding and pelleting was in the crude
fiber digestibility which decreased in the ground and pelleted hays.

Hays harvested in October and December were fed to non-pregnant-yearling
heifers during the winters of 1957-58 and 1958-59. Results of the average
daily gains and average daily nutrient intakes are summarized in table 4.
Digestible protein and energy intakes by heifers were below their requirements
when fed the December cuttings of low nitrogen hay; hence, weight losses
occurred in heifers fed these hays. All other fall-fertilized hays provided
weight gains when heifers were given free access to the hay and a mineral
supplement (Alexander, 1959).

Table 3. Summary of average digestion coefficients
and TON content of coastal bermudagrass hay as
affected by nitrogen rate, stage of maturity and processing.

Cutting Nitrogen Form Dry Crude Crude Ether
Date Rate Fed Matter Protein Fiber Extract NFE Energy TDN

Summer 100- I b/ long 53.7 54.3 57.1 22.3 54.5 52.0 53.7
Summer 200- I long 56.7 63.2 60.6 37.7 55.3 56.3 56.8
Summer 200-1 I ground 56.4 59.1 53.4 40.8 59.1 55.4 56.1
Summer 200- I pelleted 55.4 58.1 52.2 59.6 59.0 55.0 56.7
June 200-11 long 63.3 69.9 67.9 50.7 57.7 68.3 61.5
June 200-11 pelleted 60.9 70.0 59.5 63.4 59.7 63.8 59.9
October 100-1 long 55.1 56.0 55.5 41.4 58.4 53.6 54.8
October 100-11 long 54.7 56.7 56.2 44.4 54.2 53.8 53.6
October 50-1 long 53.6 47.1 50.6 46.8 59.0 52.5 53.3
October 50-I long 56.9 54.0 57.6 47.2 57.2 55.2 55.3
December 100-1 long 56.4 55,5 57.5 40.9 57.7 53.9 55.7
December 100- I long 57.0 54.9 56.9 52.1 57.6 54.3 56.1
December 50-1 long 50.0 32.2 50.7 58.6 54.1 48.9 51.1
December 50-11 long 53.8 46.8 55.1 45.5 54.3 49.3 52.7
a/ Composited for entire growing season on four cuttings.
b/ 1957 designated by prefix 1; 1958 by II; 1959 by III.






-5-


During the winter of 1959-60, hay similar in quality to October cuttings
fertilized with 100 pounds of nitrogen/acre was fed to lactating cows to
determine if it would adequately nourish cows under the stress of lactation.
Since the protein requirement would be higher for lactating cows (1.4 Ib.
digestible protein/day) as compared to the nonpregnant heifers (0.8 Ib.
digestible protein/day) studied in previous years, the nitrogen fertilizer
level was increased to 200 pounds/acre in an effort to increase the protein
content of the hay. In the previous two winter feeding trials with nonpregnant-
yearling heifers, hay fed in the long form was consumed at a rate of only
approximately 2% of the live body weight.


TABLE 4. AVERAGE DAILY GAINS AND AVERAGE DAILY NUTRIENT INTAKES
OF NONPREGNANT-YEARLING HEIFERS FED COASTAL BERMUDAGRASS
HAY DURING THE WINTER OF 1957-58 and 1958-59. a/


Daily intake/animal
Treatment Av. Av... Dry Digestible
final wt. daily ain matter TON Protein Energy
Ib. Ib. Ib. lb. Ib. therms

Oct.-100-1lb/ 776 0.7 15.8 9.4 0.8 17.6
Oct.- 50-1 767 0.6 15.1 8.8 0.5 16.5
Dec.-100-1 757 0.4 15.5 9.4 0.6 17.6
Dec.- 50-1 675 -0.7** 12.7* 7.1 0.2 14.1

Oct.-IO0-II 736 0.4 14.1 7.6 0.8 15.5
Oct.- 50-11 748 0.2 14.6 8.1 0.7 16.0
Dec.-100-11 758 0.2 14.3 8.0 0.7 15.3
Dec.- 50-11 673 -0.3* 11.5 6.0 0.4 11.1

N;R.C. Requirements 0.5 9.0 0.8 18.0

a/ Alexander et al. (1961b)

b/ 1957 designated by prefix I; 1958 by II

* P<0.05

** P4 0.01


It was estimated that the 900 Ib. lactating cows also would eat about
2 Ib. hay per 100 Ib. live weight. This hay intake would provide adequate
protein to meet their requirements but would not provide adequate energy.
Because grinding of hay often increased the intake per day, one lot of cows
was fed finely-ground hay. Average daily weight changes, average daily
nutrient intake and calf gains are summarized in table 5. Lactating cows
fed the long and ground coastal bermudagrass hays lost an average of 0.6 to






-6-


0.7 pound/day; however, calves nursing these cows gained from 0.7 to
1.0 pound/day. Lactating cows fed coastal bermudagrass hay fertilized
with 200 pounds nitrogen/acre and ground through a 1/4" screen lost less
weight, produced heavier calves and consumed more dry matter than cows
fed a similar hay in the long form.


TABLE 5. AVERAGE DAILY WEIGHT
INTAKES OF LACTATING
DURING THE WINTER OF


CHANGES AND AVERAGE DAILY NUTRIENT
COWS FED COASTAL BERMUDAGRASS HAY
1959-60. a/


Daily intake/animal
Treatment Av. Av. daily Av. daily Dry Digestible
final wt. wt. loss calf gains matter TDN Protein Energy
lb. lb. Ib. Ib. lb. lb. therms

IOON-longb/ 786 0.6 0.8 15.2 8.2 0.7 16.9
200N-long 756 0.7 0.7 14.0 8.0 1.0 17.1
200N-ground 733 0.7 1.0 16.6 9.3 1.1 19.8

Nutrient requirements of 1000 Ib. lactating beef cows 12-14I12-1.4 24-28

a/ Alexander et al. (1961a)

b/ Summer cut 1959.



SUMMARY

Coastal bermudagrass will respond very favorably by increasing yield
and nutrient content when fertilizer, especially nitrogen, is applied.
Crude protein content and digestibility of protein in coastal bermudagrass
were increased by nitrogen fertilization.

Good quality coastal bermudagrass hay plus a mineral supplement fed as
the sole source of feed was adequate for wintering nonpregnant-yearling
heifers but was not adequate for lactating cows.

Grinding and/or pelleting of coastal bermudagrass hay increased hay
consumption and weight gains; however, crude fiber digestibility was decreased.

In the Gulf Coast States, coastal bermudagrass to be cut for hay in the
fall or reserved for winter grazing should receive at least 50 pounds
nitrogen/acre if the forage is to be used within 6 to 8 weeks after the
nitrogen application. If the stage of maturity at time of harvesting or
grazing exceeds 8 weeks, at least 100 pounds nitrogen/acre should be applied.

Under conditions of these experiments, the addition of 200 pounds
nitrogen/acre to Coastal bermudagrass increased the yields of hay, hay
digestible protein content and hay digestible energy content per acre
over that obtained with 100 pounds nitrogen/acre by 771 Ib., 101 Ib. and
117 therms, respectively.







-7-


REFERENCES


Alexander,
of coastal
University


R. A. 1959. Effect of fall fertilization and harvest date
bermudagrass hay on cattle performance. Master's Thesis,
of Florida.


Alexander, R. A., J. F. Hentges, Jr., J. T. McCall and H. W.
1961a. Nutritive value of long, ground and pelleted coastal
hay with data on rumen epithelium and volatile fatty acids.
Sci. 20: In press.


Lundy.
bermudagrass
J. Animal


Alexander, R. A., J. F. Hentges, Jr., J. T. McCall, H. W. Lundy,
N. Gammon, Jr., and W. G. Blue. 1961b. The nutritive value of fall-
harvested coastal bermudagrass hay as affected by rate of nitrogen
fertilization and stage of maturity. J. Animal Sci. 20:93.

A.O.A.C. 1955. Official Methods of Analysis (8th ed.). Association
of Official Agricultural Chemist. Washington, D. C.

Burton, G. W. 1954. Coastal bermudagrass for pasture, hay and silage.
Ga. Agr. Exp. Sta. Bul. N.S.2.

McCormick, W. C., D. M. Hale and B. L. Southwell. 1957. The comparative
value of coastal bermudagrass silage and hay for fattening steers.
Ga. Coastal Plain Exp. Sta. Cir. N.S.1O.

N.R.C. 1958. Nutrient requirements of domestic animals. IV-Nutrient
requirements of beef cattle. National Academy of Sciences National
Research Council. No. 579.

















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